Three and Out: Vance McDonald haunted; will Brock remain starter?
Tarell Brown injured his ribs against Carolina and missed Monday night's game in Washington. (AP)
SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Tarell Brown, who sustained an unspecified ribs injury against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 17, returned to the practice field Thursday for some light work with his teammates.
Brown was not in uniform but he went through some individual work, which included back-pedaling and catching passes with the other 49ers defensive backs for about 10 minutes. He appeared to be in some discomfort while going through the slow-paced drills.
When the 49ers began practice, Brown walked to the team’s weight room for some conditioning work. Brown is not likely to play Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Cornerback Tramaine Brock is slated to get his second start of the season.
Brock signed a four-year, $14 million extension last week that included a $3.75 million signing bonus, which suggests the 49ers consider him as a starter next season. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Brock will have the chance to remain in the starting lineup even after Brown is cleared to return to action.
“Does he have the opportunity, the license to do that?” Harbaugh said of Brock. “Sure.”
On Monday, Brock allowed catches on all five passes thrown his way, but Washington receivers managed only 35 yards on those plays in the 49ers' 27-6 victory.
When asked if Brock played like a starter, Harbaugh answered, “I thought he did. I thought he played very good in his first start.”